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NN/LM SCR State Liaisons

The NN/LM SCR proposed a State Liaison infrastructure in the 2006-2011 RML Contract, as a more effective way of working with our Network members in the South Central Region (SCR). This new infrastructure is being implemented today, 1 May 2007, the start of Year 02 of the RML Contract. The State Liaison infrastructure will strengthen existing collaborations and enable new partnerships between Network members, and with the NN/LM SCR. As State Liaisons, NN/LM SCR Coordinators will be assigned to one or two of the five states in the Region.

A Q&A format about the State Liaisons has been assembled to assist NN/LM SCR Network members better understand how the State Liaisons will function within the NN/LM SCR:

Why State Liaisons? How will Network members benefit from the State Liaisons?

The implementation of the State Liaison infrastructure is intended to be a mutually beneficial relationship between the NN/LM SCR office and all Network members. The State Liaison will serve as the contact point for all Network members and health professionals in the state, and should also be viewed as a “remote stakeholder” for his/her assigned state. The State Liaison will learn more about his/her assigned state, initiatives as well as challenges, to better assist Network members and the NN/LM SCR office plan health information outreach initiatives and activities.

Partnerships have proven to be a successful method of providing health information outreach. The NN/LM SCR Network membership has become very diverse over the past several years, and the State Liaison will assist Network members in building health information partnerships.

There will be changes in the way in which the NN/LM SCR office interacts and communicates with Network members; all of which we anticipate will be positive changes. Some of the changes will be immediate; some will be phased in over Year 02, and the beginning of Year 03 of the RML Contract.

One immediate change you will notice is when you call the NN/LM SCR office, you may be asked to identify the state from which you are calling if you do not identify your state, initially. More than likely, your call will be transferred to your State Liaison.

Other changes will include:

  • A state-based listserv for each of the 5 states in the Region; enabling the State Liaison and Network members within each state to identify and communicate the health information needs and resources, etc. within each state;
  • Adobe Connect meetings and teleconferences; some maybe be state-specific, others will be for all Network members in the SCR to attend;
  • State Liaisons will make visits to each state to meet with a variety of Network members to discuss and assess health information needs, learn how the NN/LM SCR and NLM can better serve Network members and their users, and assist in introducing Network members to one another, leading to new partnerships to increase the effectiveness of providing health information in each state. In Year 02, each State Liaison is scheduled to make at least 2 visits to his/her assigned state; and
  • Further cross-training of Coordinators. During the 2001-2006 RML Contract, the Coordinators cross-trained in some areas of the program. This enabled the NN/LM SCR to provide better service to Network members when positions were vacant, or a particular Coordinator was out of the office.

Each State Liaison will begin to systematically further cross-train in the basics of areas for which they are not responsible, to better meet the needs of Network members. An example would be for the Consumer Health Outreach, Public Health Outreach, and Technology Coordinators to be taught basic DOCLINE functions.

This is just a start, and it will evolve as the State Liaisons and Network members begin to assess needs and collaborate.

Feel free to contact your State Liaison at any time to discuss your health information needs, or how the NN/LM SCR or NLM can better serve your health information needs. Let your State Liaison work for you!

What is the difference between the roles of a Coordinator and a State Liaison?

A Coordinator is a specialist who focuses on and fulfills the duties in a specific area of the NN/LM SCR Contract (e.g. consumer health outreach, document delivery, education, outreach to health professionals, public health outreach, technology, etc.)

A State Liaison is the primary contact for the Network members in a specific state in the SCR.

Who are the State Liaisons?

Arkansas’ State Liaison is Karen Bülow, NN/LM SCR Health Professionals Outreach Coordinator; her backup is Michelle Malizia.

Louisiana’s State Liaison will be the Technology Coordinator when the position is filled; Karen Bülow is the backup and will serve as the LA State Liaison in the interim.

New Mexico’s State Liaison is Karen Bülow; her backup will be the Technology Coordinator.

Oklahoma’s State Liaison is Karen Vargas, NN/LM SCR Consumer Health Outreach Coordinator; her backup will be the Technology Coordinator.

Texas’ State Liaison is Michelle Malizia, NN/LM SCR Public Health Outreach Coordinator; her backup will be Karen Vargas.

When will the State Liaisons become effective?

1 May 2007; the beginning of Year 02 of the 2006-2011 RML Contract.

Why am I asked to identify my state when I call the NN/LM SCR office?

Network members will most likely notice an immediate change when calling the NN/LM SCR office. You may be asked to identify the state from which you are calling. In most cases, your call will be transferred to your State Liaison.

Now that my state has been assigned a State Liaison, can I no longer directly contact a specific Coordinator?

Please understand that if the Coordinator whom you contact feels the nature of the call will be more effectively handled by your State Liaison, your call/email may be transferred.

Will my State Liaison be the only Coordinator who will come to my state to teach classes?

No. The Coordinators will retain their area of specialization and teach classes according to their specialty area, or classes on which they have been cross-trained. Nothing will change in this aspect. You will still interact with the NN/LM SCR Coordinators who are not your State Liaison.

How will the NN/LM SCR office benefit from State Liaisons?

Network membership no longer consists solely of health sciences libraries and clinics. Our Network membership and target populations for outreach have broadened dramatically over the past 5-7 years to include public libraries, public health, outreach to special populations, and community and faith based organizations (CBOs, FBOs) to name a few. As the State Liaison becomes familiar with his/her assigned state, he/she will be able to work more effectively with Network members to meet the unique health information needs of that state.

The NN/LM SCR has no systematic collection of data on each state in the Region. As your State Liaison works with his/her assigned states, he/she will be collecting data to develop an SCR “regional landscape.” Some of this data can be shared with Network members to assist you in building partnerships and developing outreach initiatives. The data will be used to develop and revise NN/LM SCR Goals and Objectives and possibly leverage funding throughout the remainder of the Contract. The NN/LM SCR office will also be able to provide information on the Region to the NLM, as needed. Finally, the data will be used to train new State Liaisons in the event that a Coordinator leaves the NN/LM SCR.

How do I refer potential or current Network members or health professionals to their State Liaison?

The NN/LM SCR office would appreciate it if all Network members would assist us in the implementation of the State Liaisons. When you meet potentially new, or current, Network members, or health professionals who need assistance from the NN/LM SCR office, please refer the person to his/her State Liaison. If there are new health information outreach initiatives being implemented in your state, let your State Liaison know about them.

We anticipate “bumps” as we implement this new method of working with our Network members, but please bear with us as we strive to better serve you. If you have questions that are not covered above, please do not hesitate to ask!

If you have questions or concerns at any time regarding the State Liaisons, please contact Renée Bougard, NN/LM SCR Associate Director, , 800.338.7657.

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